Can I tell you a secret?
Last year, around this time, I burned out, decided I no longer wanted to run a business, and started the process of shutting all my courses down. “Burned it all down to the ground,” is a phrase I use to describe what I did.
Almost immediately, two things happened.
One, I missed it so bloody much it was as though I were walking around with a hole in my heart. After the initial two-week period of “aah, I can’t believe how much time I have to myself now to write my books,” there was a serious panic-induced line of questioning: “wait, what? I never get to do this again?”
Two, hundreds—hundreds—of people emailed or messaged me asking me to please reconsider my decision and bring the courses back.
I’m not a complete moron (just a partial one). I understood that what had led me to a place where I could seriously start taking action on shutting down a six-figure business—a business that I loved and had spent years building, a business that retired my husband—was not burnout but misalignment.
I had stopped having fun in my business. And the less fun I had, the less I wanted to grow it because somewhere in my subconscious I understood that if you continue to grow something that isn’t aligned, you become increasingly unhappy.
So I did what we spoke about yesterday—I sabotaged.
Recognizing what was happening was the best thing I could ever have done for my career.
Because once I realized what was broken, I could fix it.
I decided it was time to go back to basics. Go back in time and revisit the Mridu of 2002 who had just started a website and a newsletter for writers, the Mridu who shared every success, but also every single daily failure openly, honestly, and with no shame. The Mridu who wasn’t afraid to let people have a laugh at her expense—she often joined them. If she made stupid mistakes, after all, it was only fair that she got to tell the story and make a joke out of it.
I loved that Mridu, the girl who was building a writing career, sharing every step of her journey, and having crazy adventures along the way.
It’s not that I’ve stopped doing that—I still share the good, the bad, and especially the ugly—but I realized that I started doing this thing where I only shared stories of struggle when I was out of them, not while I was going through them.
That was the only difference between Mridu of 2002 and the me of today. She told you she was failing as she was failing. I wait to tell you about my failures until after I’ve succeeded.
That’s why she was having more fun.
That’s why she was so free.
That’s why she loved her business so much.
She was just clowning around. I’d started taking it all much too seriously.
So earlier this year, I pulled the plug on everything (“burned it to the ground”) and slowly and steadily, started introducing things back into the business to see how I felt about them. Do I still like doing this? Cool, let’s do more of it. No? Off it goes. “Thank you but your services are no longer required,” as one of my mentors puts it.
And I started having fun.
I started building my sales pages around themes. A Lego theme, a Diwali theme, a badass women theme. I invited all Finishers to come to our live weekly coaching call in Halloween costumes. I got rid of all the marketing gobbledygook, even though it leads to more sales.
And I’ve started creating simple product lines that I absolutely ADORE and that are helping so many people by meeting them where they are on their journey.
So I have a bunch of ebooks (more coming! print versions coming!)
I have a bunch of video trainings (incoming!)
I have a bunch of bundles and bootcamps (more coming!)
I have courses (more coming!)
And I have premium versions of those courses with live support (more coming!)
And that’s just this business. I have a third novel on the go, a new nonfiction series brewing, and an ongoing freelancing gig with a startup for which I write nine reports a week.
I love creating and that I’m prolific is my core strength.
The biggest mistake I have ever made in my career is allowing writing gurus and business coaches to tell me that I needed to do less of it.
I didn’t burn out because I was creating too much. I was burning out because I wasn’t creating enough. I was refusing to acknowlege, much less honor who I truly am.
And I want you to hear this. Truly hear it. Because you’ve done it, too. Maybe you’re doing it right now. You’re ignoring your truth so you can follow a paint-by-numbers system created by someone else and then wondering why it didn’t work for you when it worked so well for them.
It worked for them because it was aligned for them.
It’s not working for you because it’s not aligned for you.
What’s aligned for you?